anglican focus

The news site of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland: nourishing and connecting our faith community

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spiritualities

Reflections Torres Strait Islander elder wearing a suit standing against a red brick wall Reflections

"The first Easter I remember"

“As a community, after the Easter Day service we celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with a big kai kai (feast). People from all over the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea (which was then still administered by Australia) came via sailing canoes rather than by motor boats, bringing seafood, taro, sweet potato, casava, sago and other traditional foods. We then had traditional dancing with men wearing headdresses made of emu feathers and women wearing grass skirts,” says Uncle Milton Walit from NATSIAC and The Parish of Laidley

"My crocodile totem also gives me strength, whether I am on Saibai or away. I wear a green cotton crocodile dress when I need this strength. After last year’s devastating referendum result when the majority of voters and a majority of states voted “no”, I wore my dress to give me strength — as a reminder of my connection to my people, my ancestors and my island home," Aunty Dr Rose Elu
Resources & Research

My experience navigating the Anglican Church as a Torres Strait Islander person

“I also often invite other Anglicans to see that Torres Strait Islander Christians are Christians in our own way. We seamlessly blend our ancient sovereign ways and knowledges as Traditional Custodians with the wider Church’s ways and knowledges. For example, as part of my baptism as a baby, my mum removed my clothing and nappy and held me up in the sea breeze to be sprayed, to first be blessed, by the malu (ocean). She then took me to the church for the service,” says Aunty Dr Rose Elu

Justice & Advocacy

Seeking nourishment, healing and a way forward after the referendum

“One of the greatest tragedies of the referendum outcome is that the lives of non-Indigenous Australians who voted ‘no’ will continue on the same just as their lives would have continued on the same if they had voted ‘yes’. It is the lives of First Nations peoples who will be impacted by the referendum result — and negatively so for decades to come,” says Aunty Dr Rose Elu

Homilies & Addresses

The Voice: from the grassroots and the seashores

“God blesses us through the ocean as the waves and the current go in and out. The ocean is sacred to us. As part of my baptism as a baby, my mum removed my clothing and nappy and held me up in the sea breeze to be sprayed — to first be blessed — by the ocean. She then took me to the church for the service,” says Torres Strait Islander Elder Aunty Dr Rose Elu

Films & TV

The New Boy

“While cinemas have plenty of foreign films screening, mainly of the mainstream blockbuster variety, it is refreshing and worth celebrating that a historical Australian film, continuing the tradition of cinematic storytelling on Australian themes and First Nations matters, gets a decent cinema release around the country,” says The Rev’d Canon Gary Harch